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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Legislation’

Employment Law Updates for 2014

The employment law landscape is expected to change over a number of key issues through 2014. Some of these changes provincially in Ontario follow changes initiated at the Federal level.

Changes to the Employment Insurance Act under Bill C-44 to s. 12 of the Act which now provides up to 35 weeks of EI benefits for parents who have taken time off work to provide support or care for critically injured or ill children.

These provisions were mirrored in the Canada Labour Code for Federally regulated employees through a coordinating amendment under the Bill to s. 206.1.

Changes were . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Substantive Law: Legislation

Proposed Law Aims for Stricter Canadian Citizenship Requirements

On February 6, 2014, the federal government tabled Bill C-24, An Act to amend the Citizenship Act and to make consequential amendments to other Acts to update eligibility requirements for Canadian citizenship, strengthen security and fraud provisions and amend provisions governing the processing of applications and the review of decisions. According to the government, the new measures should ensure new Canadians have a stronger connection and attachment to Canada. . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Reassessing Manitoba’s Environmental Assessment Process

Manitoba’s Law Reform Commission is currently seeking input into potential reforms to the environmental assessment process that takes place pursuant to the provisions of The Environment Act.  

A discussion paper, Manitoba’s Environmental Assessment and Licensing Regimewas issued late in January for comment. The paper sets out 18 key issues or propositions for consideration:

Issue 1: Should The Environment Act be amended to establish more direct links between the environmental assessment process and principles and guidelines of sustainability provided in The Sustainable Development Act? Are there particular developments for which sustainability principles are most relevant? How would this change

. . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Why the Conservatives’ “Fair Elections Act” Could Be Unconstitutional

 In 2011, Borys Wrzesnewskyj, the former Liberal Member of Parliament for Etobicoke Centre, lost his seat to Conservative candidate Ted Opitz by a mere 26 votes. Convinced that procedural irregularities on Election Day had robbed him of victory, Wreznewskyj challenged the result in court.[1]

The case reached the Supreme Court of Canada.[2] Wrzesnewskyj lost.

“The right of every citizen to vote, guaranteed by [Section Three] of the Charter, lies at the heart of Canadian democracy,” wrote Mr. Justice Marshall Rothstein and Mr. Justice Michael Moldaver, for a majority of the Court.[3] As a consequence, the . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Online Sources of Official Legislation Rarer Than You Thought

A post earlier this week on In Custodia Legis, the blog of the Law Library of Congress in Washington, explained that the Australian federal legislative website ComLaw and the New Zealand legislative website were offering official versions of their laws.

In other words, the sites guarantee that the text that a searcher finds there (usually the PDF version) is a correct statement of the law and is admissible as evidence in court. Traditionally, only the print version of legislation from a government printer is official.

Many people are surprised to find out how few electronic versions of laws . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information, Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology: Internet

Ontario’s Minimum Wage Debate and Advisory Panel’s Final Report

The Minimum Wage Advisory Panel’s final report was tabled with the Ontario government on Monday January 27, 2014. The report points out that the minimum wage is not solely a statistical or economic debate, it is also a benchmark, “a wage floor” that establishes a bare minimum for society. While the minimum wage cannot do it alone—child care, affordable housing, tax credits and tax exemptions are also essential—it is also a key component of any realistic anti-poverty strategy, no matter how blunt or inefficient it might be. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Miscellaneous, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Measures to Increase Access to Justice and Public Confidence in Quebec

Access to justice is a quasi-constitutional right in Quebec where the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms guarantees “a full and equal, public and fair hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.” However, numerous stakeholders, including many in the legal community share a growing concern that access to justice is increasingly posing challenges to those who need it, and obstacles such as time, expense and representation stand in the way of securing this right for all Quebec citizens. . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Future of Practice, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Quebec Charter of Values Receives Further Critique by Legal and Political Organizations

Although Quebec’s Bill 60 is before committee it is already coming under immense scrutiny by the public and legal experts. This week two reports were leaked to La Presse, prompting the opposition Liberals to demand disclosure of the legal opinions behind the Parti Québécois initiative to enact a Charter of Values.

The legal opinions are likely to be protected by parliamentary privilege, and Bernard Drainville, the Minister responsible for Democratic Institutions and Active Citizenship, still appears confident that the Bill will pass constitutional challenges. Once again, he cited the support offered for the Bill by former Supreme Court Justice, Claire . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

C’monnnnnn – Justice Laws Fail

I’m on for a little rant today but this is significant topic, courtesy of one of my LRW students conducting some research on the Nadon appointment to the SCC (on the plus side this does drive home the point I continually try to make that you cannot exclusively rely on one source or the web all the time). Interestingly, I thought we were getting rid of all the print government publications because the Interwebs are so much more efficient and effective? Well try and find SC 2013, c 40 which received Royal Assent on December 12, 2013, over a month . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Information Management, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Legislation

A Canada Evidence Code Should Replace the Canada Evidence Act, Part 2

Part 2: The failure of the Federal/Provincial Task Force on Uniform Rules of Evidence to have its Uniform Evidence Act enacted, because the piecemeal amendment of the law of evidence is preferred

Late in 1977, because of the “mixed” reception that the Law Reform Commission of Canada’s proposal for an Evidence Code to replace the Canada Evidence Act had received nationally, the Federal/Provincial Task Force on Uniform Rules of Evidence had been formed under the sponsorship of the Uniform Law Conference of Canada (the ULCC), which body provides the mechanisms and procedures by which federal, provincial, and territorial government . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Changing Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act

Yesterday, Simon prepared a kind post to introduce me (again) to

I plan to post about civil litigation issues, class actions, and advocacy.

My first contribution is about Ontario’s Class Proceedings Act, 1992.

Last week, the Law Commission of Ontario released a list of issues it will consider to reform class action law in Ontario. The scope of its review will be broad, ranging from improving “take-up rates” by class members, canvassing different funding options for class actions, and providing guidance for when national class actions are appropriate.

For me, the topic that is most interesting about . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Yes, These Canadian Laws Actually Exist

We sometimes hear of bizarre laws still on the books. I had always assumed these were tucked away in obscure legislation and never applied. Not so, as many very surprising laws are contained in documents such as the Canadian Criminal Code. Here are some of the most surprising ones.

Those of us who have studied the Criminal Code know how complex it can be. What we may not have noticed is that it contains sections which appear to date from another time and place. This cannot be a product of the Code not having been amended in a while, . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation